Around the house: Citadel lands top Goldman legal duo, Merck promotes auditing head to GC

This week’s roundup of top in-house moves also includes appointments at LPL Financial, CBRE, MUFG and Mashreq Bank

Goldman Sachs loses two senior lawyers to Citadel Shutterstock

Citadel raids Goldman Sachs for two senior lawyers

US market-making firm Citadel Securities has hired David Rusoff as its new chief legal officer, according to Bloomberg, replacing Heath Tarbert, who left the company in June.

Rusoff joins from Goldman Sachs, where he was general counsel for global banking and markets. At Citadel, Rusoff will be responsible for the legal and compliance function. Citadel Securities is owned by billionaire hedge fund investor Ken Griffin. Separately, Griffin’s hedge fund Citadel LLC has hired another top Goldman lawyer – David Thomas – to lead the hedge fund’s trading and markets legal and compliance teams, Bloomberg reported. Thomas was Goldman’s deputy GC and GC of its asset and wealth management business. Thomas will join early next year and report to Citadel’s CLO Shawn Fagan.

Rusoff has been with Goldman for 23 years, having started his career at Foley and Lardner, working his way up to partner. As well as being Goldman’s GC for global banking and markets, he was a member of its firmwide operational risk and resilience committee, its technology risk committee and its capital policy and procedures oversight committee. Thomas, meantime, has been with Goldman for almost 19 years.

Tarbert left Citadel Securities in June to join crypto firm Circle Internet Financial, the creator of US stablecoin USDC. He had been at Citadel for two years, having previously headed up the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Merck promotes from within to fill vacant GC role

German multinational science and tech company Merck has promoted Tina Sandmann to group general counsel and head of group legal and compliance, replacing Friederike Rotsch, who left for Deutsche Bank earlier this year.

Sandmann has been with Merck for more than 15 years working in a number of roles, most recently as head of group internal auditing, a position she held since 2019. In her new role, she will be responsible for all legal and compliance matters. Head of global research and development quality Kerstin Weber is also being promoted to replace Sandmann as head of internal auditing, underscoring the company’s efforts to invest in growing its own talent.

Sandmann said she was looking forward to returning to the legal and compliance department and handling the highly complex nature of work the team does.

Sandmann joined Merck as a senior corporate counsel in February 2008 from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, where she was an associate. She spent more than five years as senior counsel before becoming integration lead for Merck’s acquisition of US chemicals and biotech business Sigma-Aldrich in 2014 and then CFO for Merck’s German healthcare business.

Rotsch departed Merck in April to join Deutsche Bank as GC. She had been at Merck for almost 18 years, serving as GC for nine of them. She was also previously group head of internal auditing.

LPL Financial taps Google for new legal chief

Independent US broker dealer LPL Financial has hired Althea Brown as its new chief legal officer, replacing Michelle Oroschakoff who is retiring in the autumn.

Brown joins from Google, where she was legal director overseeing a team of product and commercial lawyers, including for its Fitbit subsidiary. She joins LPL as managing director and CLO, and will lead the company’s corporate law and government relations, litigation and regulatory affairs, and legal operations and business management functions. She will also sit on LPL’s management committee and will be based in the company’s San Diego office.

Dan Arnold, president and CEO of LPL, said: “Althea has significant experience in leading high-performing legal teams for large corporations across retail, technology and financial services. Her experience leading legal teams that support innovative and highly regulated technology products and solutions makes her the right leader to continue to evolve our legal department into a best-in-industry asset for our clients.”

Brown spent 11 years at Google, becoming legal director in 2021, having previously been senior counsel and corporate counsel before that. She also worked in-house at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, having started her legal career at legacy firm Dewey & LeBouef in New York. Prior to her time in legal, Brown worked in banking at JPMorgan.

Oroschakoff is retiring after 10 years at LPL and a legal career that spans more than three decades. She joined LPL as chief risk officer from Morgan Stanley, becoming LPL’s legal chief in 2017. She started her career at Morrison & Foerster before moving to Shearman & Sterling.

Arnold said: “Over the last decade, Michelle has been instrumental to the firm’s success through her legal and compliance expertise, thoughtful leadership and commitment to fostering a culture of belonging.”

CBRE names new GC after incumbent refuses Dallas relocation

Global commercial real estate giant CBRE has promoted Chad Doellinger to general counsel, replacing Larry Midler who has decided to step down from the role after the company said it was relocating the GC office to Dallas.

Doellinger has been with CBRE’s legal group since May 2020, joining as deputy GC before later adding legal chief operations officer to his remit. He was promoted to chief transformation officer earlier this year, before being parachuted into the GC role after Midler said he didn’t want to move from his current base in Los Angeles. Midler will remain in a consulting role until the middle of next year. At the same time, CBRE has promoted Banke Odunaike to a newly created chief culture officer position to support its diversity efforts.

Bob Sulentic, CBRE’s CEO, said: “Chad and Banke are rising leaders who enhance our executive leadership team. Chad is an innovative strategic thinker, and we will benefit significantly from his counsel and leadership. Banke is an accomplished executive who brings an important international perspective to her new responsibilities.”

Before his time at CBRE, Doellinger was a partner at Greenberg Traurig and Katten Muchin Rosenman. He also worked in-house at Walmart, where he was senior associate GC and head of its commercial and class action litigation team. He also had an earlier spell at Katten, as well as stints at Eimer Stahl Klevorn & Solberg and Pattishall McAuliffe Newbury Hilliard & Geraldson.

Midler, meantime, has been with CBRE since 2004.

Sulentic said: “Larry has been an exceptional general counsel and colleague who leaves a deep and lasting imprint on CBRE. I thank him for the insight and pragmatic counsel he has provided me and the company over the years and know he will meet with great success in his future pursuits.”

Japan’s MUFG appoints new GC for the Americas region

Japanese financial institution Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) has officially named Matt Abrusci as its new general counsel for the Americas region.

Abrusci joined back in April from RBC Capital Markets, where he was associate GC for global capital markets. In his new role, he will oversee all legal matters for MUFG’s Americas business, which is headquartered in New York and has offices in Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru. Alla Whitston was also named as MUFG’s new Americas chief information officer in the same announcement.

Kevin Cronin, CEO and regional executive for MUFG Americas, said: “[Abrusci and Whitston] come to MUFG with a vast amount of experience in the financial services industry that will serve them both well in these important roles. Matt has served as a trusted advisor to me and our businesses since joining the bank and I’m confident that he will help us navigate the increasingly complex regulatory landscape by continuing to build effective relationships with our regulators.”

Abrusci spent just over three years at RBC as associate GC, first as head of the US capital markets law group, before moving to the global head of capital markets law group. He previously spent more than 15 years at Credit Suisse, most recently as head of Americas investment banking and capital markets legal. He started his career at Merrill Lynch, working his way up to senior counsel.

UAE’s Mashreq Bank announces new GC hire

UAE-based private bank Mashreq Bank has named Bassam Moussa as its new group general counsel, replacing Marouf Shweikeh.

Moussa joins from Emirates Development Bank, where he was chief legal officer and board secretary. In his new role he will be responsible for overseeing all Mashreq’s legal affairs and protecting the bank from potential legal risks locally and internationally.  

In a statement on LinkedIn, Mashreq said: “Bassam carries an impressive record in the banking and finance sector, showcasing his extensive expertise in energy projects, M&A, corporate commercial, governance, real estate, and intelligent management of disputes and litigation.”

Prior to his time at Emirates Development Bank, Moussa spent five years at Emirates NBD, three of them as group head of legal and two as GC for Egypt. He was also previously head of banking and finance at Middle East and North African law firm Al Tamimi & Company and a senior associate at Egyptian firm Shalakany Law Firm.

Moussa is dual qualified in the UK and Egypt.

Shweikeh had been group GC at Mashreq since 2021, joining from Al Hilal Bank in Abu Dhabi, where he was also GC. Shweikeh also held in-house roles at Alawwal Bank in Riyadh, the Central Bank of Bahrain and TAIB Bank. It was not immediately clear if Shweikeh has left Mashreq or moved to another role.

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